OPINION: If you’re looking to improve your TV’s audio without stretching the budget, the Beam 2 is the soundbar to get
The original Sonos Beam soundbar came at just the right time. Years and years before, Yamaha had pretty much defined the concept of what a soundbar was. And after that there were attempts to mould it into something else – the Sonos Playbase comes to mind.
But the Playbase didn’t stay for long. In its stead came the compact soundbar. Bose launched one and around the same time so did Sonos, and the popularity has increased ever since.
What that preamble was trying (perhaps inelegantly) to shine a light on is that great ideas stick around. The Beam offered an elegant way of getting excellent sound in a small space The Beam 2 is a step up, and like the original it arrives at an opportune time. With plenty of Dolby Atmos content available, it is a soundbar primed to take advantage.
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It produces an exceptional sound for its size. Though there aren’t any physical upfiring speakers, the overhead channels are produced virtually. The effect is cleverly done, producing a subtle sense of height above the listener.
And like any Sonos product there are plenty of features to enjoy. Sonos’ platform agnostic approach means whether you’re an Alexa or Google Assistant user, you’ve got both options catered for. For Amazon Music HD subscribers, the Ultra HD tracks and Atmos playback are now supported; the Beam 2 also capable of playing DTS Digital Surround tracks, although – frustratingly – other DTS tracks aren’t possible.
A vast number of music streaming tracks come under the remit of the Sonos S2 app, making it easy to tee up your favourite tracks and playlist from the likes of Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz, Apple Music and more besides. Trueplay calibrates the bar’s sound for the environment its in, while if you already have Sonos products in the home, you can start a multi-room group; daisy-chaining speakers together or playing different music to different speakers.
The breadth of features and the flexibility the Sonos Beam 2 offers is brilliant. It leads the way for compact soundbars and with Atmos onboard, that literally opens up another dimension of sound. If you don’t have space for a large soundbar, but still want to enjoy all the festive content in the best way possible, be sure to head online and bag yourself a Sonos Beam 2.